Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

176

Michael Kaeshammer: Kaeshammer

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
It doesn't take a Charles Darwin to realize that the true evolutionary inheritors of Frank Sinatra's and Peggy Lee's brand of "popular" music were Elton John and Billy Joel, and not Harry Connick, Jr. or Michael Buble, the latter being more keepers of the flame than the former innovators. Had popular music not dissembled into the current confused concoction of country, rock and hip-hop, where might it have ended up? At the door of German/Canadian Michael Kaeshammer, that's where.

Kaeshammer debuted with Blue Keys (Alma Records) in 1996. Since that time, he has released six more recordings, including this eponymous release. The staggering reality of Kaeshammer is the fact that so much talent—composing, singing, instrumental chops, and arranging—comes so densely packed in a single person. It seems inconceivable that with such a discography, including Kaeshammer in particular, the singer is not more widely known. Because this is music more infectious than the flu.

Kaeshammer's stylistic range is as deep as it is wide, ranging from the stride piano of the 1930s Willie "The Lion" Smith ("Tightrope") to the Fender Rhodes of the Faces' Ian McLagan ("Kisses in Zanzibar") and singing from 1920's show tunes (an inspired and revamped "Love Me or Leave Me") to the Christopher Cross-meets-Bruce Hornsby style on "Remedy." Ray Charles, Leon Russell, Lindsey Buckingham, Elton John, Don Henley, and so on are all here in a sound that can only be called Kaeshammer's own.

Kaeshammer's songwriting is evenly informed by the last 70 years of popular music. The disc opener, "Rendezvous," recalls Billy Joel's An Innocent Man (Columbia, 1983) period, where "Kisses in Zanzibar" and "Shalimar Wind" brilliantly mined the same stylistic vein tapped by Barry Manilow without that singer's Las Vegas baggage. Kaeshammer digs deep on the disc's spiritual center, a churchy, Gene Harris-inspired instrumental performance of Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready." The pianist shares solo space with bassist Marc Rogers, the two weaving a thoroughly modern cover of this already well-covered song. A master of drama, Kaeshammer tells a story with this old song.

Artists of the breadth of Kaeshammer no longer exist. They are too often drowned out by the lowest common denominator conventional wisdom ruling what is popular and what is not. Kaeshammer brings things back to the basics: superior musicianship and exceptional songwriting. If only Sinatra lived so long to hear this.

Track Listing: Rendezvous; Kisses in Zanzibar; A Little Bit of Love; Tightrope; The You- and-Me; People Get Ready; Heartbeat; Shalimar wind; Love Me or Leave Me; Remedy.

Personnel: Personnel: Michael Kaeshammer: vocals, keyboards; Marc Rogers: acoustic and electric basses; Mark Mclean: drums, percussion; Roger Tracassos: drums, percussion; Davide Direnzo: percussion; William Sperandei: trumpet; William Carn: trombone; Gord Meyers: trombone; Perry White: tenor saxophone; Kelly Jefferson: tenor saxophone; Chris Gale: tenor saxophone; Justin Abedin : guitars; Joel Parisien: background vocals; Andrea Koziol: background vocals; Karen Graves: violin, Rebekah Wolkstein: violin; Drew Jurecka: violin; Ron LoPata: Hammond B3 organ.

Title: Kaeshammer | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Alert Music


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Bricks CD/LP/Track Review Bricks
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 17, 2017
Read Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns CD/LP/Track Review Makes the Heart to Sing: Jazz Hymns
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Song of No Regrets CD/LP/Track Review Song of No Regrets
by Jack Bowers
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Sounding Tears CD/LP/Track Review Sounding Tears
by John Sharpe
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Lighthouse CD/LP/Track Review Lighthouse
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 16, 2017
Read Kill The Boy CD/LP/Track Review Kill The Boy
by Chris Mosey
Published: December 16, 2017
Read "Domains" CD/LP/Track Review Domains
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 13, 2017
Read "Follow Your Heart" CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "Don't Blink" CD/LP/Track Review Don't Blink
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 4, 2017
Read "Converging Tributaries" CD/LP/Track Review Converging Tributaries
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Lingo" CD/LP/Track Review Lingo
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "ScratchBop" CD/LP/Track Review ScratchBop
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 28, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!